Carlo Ancelotti did not impose any conditions during the few hours of talks he held with Real Madrid that led to his appointment as the club’s coach for the second time. They were indeed flash talks that started at noon on Saturday and were closed by Monday. The Italian coach has widely demonstrated his willingness and ability to adapt to the circumstances of the clubs he manages. And this time he faces the most difficult circumstances yet.
Real Madrid’s roadmap for 2020/21
Ancelloti already knows the difficult financial situation will not allow him to make signings. Beyond David Alaba, who has arrived on a free, no other incoming transfers are expected, except, of course, if there is an opportunity to sign Kylian Mbappé. Even the signing of an alternative top-class striking option is not expected if it’s not the French star.
In the roadmap set out by the club, the first priority is laying off some current players. Right now there are 31 players in the squad and Ancelotti is aware that it must be made smaller. There are two players who will continue on loan, Borja Mayoral at Roma and Reinier at Borussia Dortmund. The list of transferibles has already been set, with the club ready to let go of Luka Jovic, Brahim Diaz, Jesus Vallejo and even Álvaro Odriozola for the right price.
There are several players pointed out by Ancelotti himself whose exits could generate substantial cash for the club coffers, not to mention the money saved on their high salaries. They are Marcelo, Isco and Garethe Bale, and to a lesser extent Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard. There haven’t been offers for any of them, although Arsenal have hinted at their interest in Ceballos and Odegaard.
Ceballos, however, has stated publicly that he does not want another loan assignment. Odegaard, meanwhile, is waiting to speak with Ancelotti. Both players would be attractive options on the market. The same cannot be said for Isco, Bale and Marcelo.
Isco, Bale and Ramos
Isco ends his contract in 2022 and also wants to speak with Ancelotti before making a decision. Bale is one of the key men. Ancelotti has already hinted that he sees the Welshman as a viable member of his squad. After Benzema, Bale has the second highest number of goals in the squad. The best thing that could be expected is an offer similar to Tottenham’s last summer, where Madrid had to pay half his salary. In that case, Ancelotti would rather keep him. His contract also ends in 2022.
The priority, therefore, is to lower the salary bill and sell the surplus players to raise money and reduce the drop in income. The renewal of Sergio Ramos’s contract looks very difficult at this point. He earns €12 million euros net (Madrid pay €24 million) per season and the club has already agreed to pay Alaba the same salary.
The academy is key
The other key, as Ancelotti also stated, are the academy players. If during his first spell, the Italian coach had players like Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Morata or Nacho, now there are two names that are clear candidates to be in the first team: left winger Miguel Gutiérrez and Antonio Blanco, Casemiro’s natural replacement. There are other names, such as Arribas, Marvin or Chust, who are waiting to see how sales go during the summer.
The only financial madness in which Madrid is prepared to partake is the signing of Mbappé if he comes within reach. All efforts will be made to make that happen this summer.
Everything will depend on PSG’s willingness to negotiate, as the player himself is 100% convinced of the switch to Madrid. He is even ready to take a pay cut to make the move happen, by foregoing the €36 million PSG intends to offer him in a new deal, which would put him on par with Neymar.